1967-1972 Ford F100 Short Bed Conversion Part 1

Part 1: CPP’s Long Bed To Short Bed Conversion Kit Makes It A Breeze!

By Ryan Manson   –   Photography by the Author

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For those of us Ford fans, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find a good foundation on which to build a short bed truck. Whether it’s a matter of production numbers or survivability, it seems that the Ford long bed far outnumber the shorties. That’s great if you need to haul a load of lumber, a motorcycle, or a camper shell, but if it’s a well-performing, healthy-handling pickup truck you’re after, an old long bed truck probably isn’t going to cut it. That is unless cutting it is the plan.

01 Our 1969 Ford was built to haul, unfortunately that_s about all it does well
Our 1969 Ford was built to haul, unfortunately that’s about all it does well. A pair of dropped I-beam axles and an upgraded brake kit still left a bit to be desired when it came to handling and performance. An upgrade to an Independent Front Suspension setup helped, but the Effie’s long wheelbase prevented any serious performance results and the altitude adjustment further exaggerated its long looks.

Read More: Brothers 1973-87 Longbed To Shortbed Conversion Kit Part 1

Always looking for the next great gap to fill in the market, the team at Golden Star Classic Auto Parts recently announced the release of their newly tooled short Fleetside bedsides for 1967-72 Ford pickups. This, in addition to also offering the front panel header, steel floor, wheelhouses, and tailgate, allows Golden Star auto to offer not only the components needed to repair or restore a classic Ford truck, but also gives their customers the option to ditch the long bed setup for a brand-new short bed.

02 Removing the long bed is the first step in altering the old truck_s wheelbase
Removing the long bed is the first step in altering the old truck’s wheelbase. We won’t be using the original truck bed, so it’s set aside while we address the frame.
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No small feat, however, when the crew at Classic Performance Products heard about the new sheetmetal being offered, it seemed obvious that they needed to design a long bed to short bed conversion kit to complement the new tin offerings. Thankfully, Classic Performance Products has a few shop trucks on hand to aid in their daily R&D of new products, so the team wasted no time in getting a donor 1969 Ford F100 in the shop and the frame section scanned.

03 We_ll be removing 16 inches from the section of frame directly behind the truck’s cab
We’ll be removing 16 inches from the section of frame directly behind the truck’s cab, so a pair of jackstands is placed just behind this section while another pair is placed further forward under the cab to provide support.

Read More: Brothers 1973-1987 Longbed To Shortbed Conversion Kit Part 2

The result is a new short bed conversion kit (PN 6772LBFSK) that consists of two templates that contain all the holes that need to be located and drilled as well as cut lines to aid in trimming that chassis down. An assortment of hardware and a pair of beefy C-channel plates are provided and used to mate the two frame sections back together to ensure perfect symmetry before the chassis is welded back together. The resulting kit makes trimming a long bed 1967-72 Ford truck down to short bed specs an afternoon’s work with little more than a drill, saw, and a welder.

04 Carefully shimming the jackstands where necessary results in a nice, level frame
It’s important that the jackstands simply support the truck at ride height and don’t actually lift it. Carefully shimming the jackstands where necessary results in a nice, level frame.

This month, follow along as we adjust the wheelbase on a 1969 Ford F100 using Classic Performance Products’ new short bed conversion kit and be sure to check in next month when we assemble an all-new short box courtesy of Golden Star Classic Auto Parts. CTP

05 To shorten our chassis efficiently and effortlessly we_ll be using Classic Performance Products_ Short Bed Conversion Kit
To shorten our chassis efficiently and effortlessly we’ll be using Classic Performance Products’ Short Bed Conversion Kit (PN 6772LBFSK). The kit consists of two templates and two thick C-channel support plates that will aid in aligning the front and rear frame halves once the chassis has been cut.
06 To align the templates on the truck’s chassis, an existing oval and 3_8-inch hole on top of the frame rails are used
To align the templates on the truck’s chassis, an existing oval and 3/8-inch hole on top of the frame rails are used. An additional 3/8-inch hole on the lower frame rail is also used to bolt the template in place.
07 These holes will serve to align the frame halves once cut
There are eight predrilled holes on either end of the template that need to be transferred and drilled in the chassis using a 3/8-inch drill bit. These holes will serve to align the frame halves once cut.
08 The rear cut is made first so that section of the frame can be rolled out of the way
The rear cut is made first so that section of the frame can be rolled out of the way …
09 while the front cut is made. Note that both cuts follow the cut lines in the template
… while the front cut is made. Note that both cuts follow the cut lines in the template.
10 designed to temporarily attach and support the truck’s chassis until final welding can be completed
The 1/4-inch C-channel plates are designed to temporarily attach and support the truck’s chassis until final welding can be completed. These plates have matching holes that mirror the templates and now the chassis.
11 Here, the C-channel plates are being aligned with the front half of the frame and bolted in place
Here, the C-channel plates are being aligned with the front half of the frame and bolted in place using the previously drilled holes and the provided hardware.
12 With the C-channel plates in place, the rear frame section is being prepared to slide into place
With the C-channel plates in place, the rear frame section is being prepared to slide into place. A bevel on the seam between the two frame sections will allow for deeper penetration of the weld, resulting in a stronger joint.
13 The rear frame section has been slid in place and joined with the front half
The rear frame section has been slid in place and joined with the front half, temporarily completing the short bed frame conversion.
14 The holes drilled using the template correspond to those in the C-channel plate perfectly
The holes drilled using the template correspond to those in the C-channel plate perfectly and, when joined, result in a 115-inch wheelbase frame.
15 A couple quick measurements verify the chassis is square and to spec
A couple quick measurements verify the chassis is square and to spec!
16 Out back, another 4 inches needs to be hacked off the frame and a couple holes relocated and drilled
Out back, another 4 inches needs to be hacked off the frame and a couple holes relocated and drilled. These details are included in the center portion of the template that we cut up earlier. Using two top holes as reference, the template is fastened to the chassis and the holes in the template transferred to the frame.
17 A carpenter_s square is used to translate the small holes from the template to mark the cut line on all three sides of the frame
A carpenter’s square is used to translate the small holes from the template to mark the cut line on all three sides of the frame.
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18 We carefully measure the F100 frame to make the small hole marks

19 Once again, a reciprocating saw and a sharp blade make quick work of trimming the frame
Once again, a reciprocating saw and a sharp blade make quick work of trimming the frame.
20 The driver side of the frame has been modified while the passenger side has yet to be trimmed and drilled
The driver side of the frame has been modified while the passenger side has yet to be trimmed and drilled. Note the differences between the two.
21 ITGM Tech Center manager Jason Scudellari puts the Harbor Freight Vulcan MIGMax 215 welder to work,
Next, ITGM Tech Center manager Jason Scudellari puts the Harbor Freight Vulcan MIGMax 215 welder to work, burning the two sections of frame together for the final time. Scudellari opted to leave the C-channel plate in place, performing a series of Rossette welds to replace the fasteners in addition to a series of welds around the circumference of the plate.
22 Short Bed Conversion Kit complete tune in next time for the short bed assembly
With the shortbed conversion complete, a “meeting of the minds” is called to plan the next step, assembling the new short box components from Golden Star Classic Auto Parts. We’ll return next month for a deeper dive into the sheet metal components and what it takes to assemble a brand-new short bed box.

Sources
Classic Performance Products
(800) 760-7438
classicperform.com

Golden Star Classic Auto Parts
(972) 315-3758
goldenstarauto.com

Harbor Freight
harborfreight.com

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